GSA Technology Council

Proterra Zero Emission Bus Breaks Efficiency, Gradeability, Weight and Acceleration Records

Proterra Catalyst
Greenville based Proterra, the leading provider of zero-emission battery-electric buses, announced in June that it has not only completed the structural testing program at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center, the transportation industry’s gold standard, but its new Catalyst bus has broken records for efficiency, gradeability, weight and acceleration.

While conventional diesel buses average 3.86 MPG, the Proterra Catalyst achieved the best efficiency rating ever for a 40? transit bus at 22 MPGe. Nearly six times more efficient than a diesel or CNG bus, the Catalyst is also 15% more energy efficient per mile than the closest competitors’ electric bus on the same test, which translates to a lower lifetime energy consumption of 15%. Notably, Proterra’s new 40? bus is more energy efficient per mile than most light-duty trucks and SUVs on the road today.

In addition to energy efficiency, the Proterra Catalyst broke records in gradeability, weight, and acceleration. Gradeability has been a historic obstacle for electric buses, which until now, weighed more and had less power, making steep inclines difficult if not impossible to climb. The Catalyst conquered a 15.5% grade, unprecedented in this test by an electric bus, making it an ideal option to serve metropolitan areas with challenging topography in West Coast cities including San Francisco and Seattle. Made of carbon fiber and advanced composite materials, Proterra’s unibody design is a prime driver for its high performance with regard to weight and durability. With a curb weight of only 27,370 lbs., the Proterra Catalyst is not only lighter than any other electric bus, leading to greater efficiency, but is also more durable than buses made of aluminum or steel and less prone to corrosion. The transit industry has traditionally struggled with vehicle weight, especially for new technologies like hybrid, CNG and EV. By designing the vehicle from the ground-up, using the most advanced technology and materials, Proterra has eliminated the vehicle weight concern for EV. As proof of the vehicle’s superior power-to-weight ratio, the Proterra 40? Catalyst also achieved 0-20 acceleration in just 6.7 seconds. Rapid acceleration is particularly critical for keeping routes running on time, allowing bus operators to move in and out of traffic with greater ease.

“To break not one, but four records at Altoona is a major milestone not just for us, but for the industry as a whole and is a testament to how far electric bus technology has come,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “In an industry hungry for innovation, to receive these kinds of results from rigorous testing organizations such as Altoona helps to assure transit managers and civic leaders that electric buses can outperform fossil fuel vehicles and are a durable and reliable investment.”

via Proterra

KEMET Breaks Patent Record

KemetKEMET Corporation, a leading global supplier of electronic components, honored patent recipients, as well as others who participated in the patent process, during its Patent Awards Luncheon on May 28, 2015. Plaques representing the twenty new patents joined those already on display on the Patent Wall at KEMET’s U.S. Innovation Center in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

KEMET was granted a record number of twenty U.S. patents in Fiscal Year 2015. In addition to the new patents, KEMET innovation has driven more than 12,000 new products and a stream of new processes and platform releases in the last year emerging from its 33 PhDs, 501 engineers and global innovation centers.

Also honored was Jeff Poltorak, Technical Expert, Equipment Engineering, who was named KEMET Featured Inventor of the Year for his contributions towards tantalum anode equipment design as well as manufacturing methods and equipment for KEMET’s newest surface mount polymer aluminum capacitor product line.

“It is my pleasure to officially recognize these scientists who have developed some of the most innovative ideas and cutting-edge products in the industry,” said Dr. Philip Lessner, KEMET’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “Our unyielding focus remains in distinguishing ourselves as the industry leader in technology and innovation, positioning KEMET as the premier ‘easy-to-design-in’ provider of capacitance and electronic component solutions,” continued Lessner.

via Kemet

Imagine Upstate Hosts Transportation Hack-a-thon June 26-27

Spend a weekend exploring and building fixes to sticky transportation problems… in code (mostly.) Phil Yanov talks to Sarah Arbogast of Imagine Upstate about their FREE event on June 26-27.

Launched in South Carolina, Google’s Computer Science Program Reaches 50,000+ Students

Google CS First
Google has hit another computer science milestone in an education effort that started in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and quickly spread around the globe. In late May, the number of students who have used Google’s CS First curriculum surpassed the 50,000 mark.

Since it started as a pilot program in 2013, schools and organizations across the country have created more than 3,300 unique clubs led by more than 3,100 community volunteers and teachers.

“This was our first year of scaling and our big, internal, ‘secret’ goal was 25,000 kids.” said JamieSue Goodman, a Manning, S.C. native who leads the CS First Project. “Reaching the 50k mark is amazing and really is a credit to the teachers and gurus who are taking the materials and using them around our state, the nation and the world.”

Google’s teaching fellows and program managers developed a computer science curriculum that uses video games, music, dancing and fashion to introduce students to basics of coding and interfacing with a computer on a programming level. Thanks to the teachers and administrators who implemented the tools in schools across the Lowcountry, CS First quickly took on a life of it’s own.

Google CS First presented at the August 2013 GSATC Learning Lunch on their launch in Greenville, SC. Learn more about Google CS First in Greenville County School here or look up the nearly 30 different Google CS First groups in the Upstate here.

via Google CS First

TSAChoices Expands Greenville, SC Office with New IT/Voice Service Manager and Field Technician

TSAChoiceTechnology integrator TSAChoice, Inc., with offices in Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC, announces that Ben Bruce has been promoted to IT/Voice Service Manager of the Greenville Office. Adding further support is Field Technician Sam McAllister who has been transferred from the Asheville office to Greenville to better serve the Upstate South Carolina region.

President Dan Watts remarks, “We are excited about our growth in the South Carolina market and are excited to continue growing in that area.”

TSAChoice_Ben-BruceBen Bruce has been with TSAChoice’s Greenville office for four years, after working as a Mitel Direct certified technician for four years. He has extensive experience working with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), web, and data networks. Bruce is certified in all of the Mitel products that TSAChoice installs, and has multiple certifications from Cisco, Microsoft and COMPTIA.

TSAChoice_Sam-McAllisterSam McAllister began at TSAChoice in June 2011 working with the cable crew, and was moved to the Voice Division in 2012. As an IT/Voice Field technician, McAllister is certified in the Mitel Suite of products including Oaisys Call Recording. McAllister’s previous technical experience includes low voltage systems and secure access. Prior to being employed at TSAChoice, Sam spent four years at Bob Jones University with the Infrastructure Division.

via TSAChoice

GreenJUG Presents, “Intro to React.js + Flux” with Trevor Lohrbeer July 9

At the next GreenJUG meeting, learn the basic concepts of the React JavaScript component library and the Flux one-way data flow architecture. Find out how React can be used to port components from Java Swing and the similarities and differences of working in each. Discover how we’ve written extensions to React to support stateless models, XML configuration and more.

Trevor Lohrbeer has been developing web & desktop applications in Java, JavaScript and other languages for over 20 years. As Chief Data Scientist at Teikametrics, he is working on porting his Java applet-based data visualization & discovery SDK over to HTML 5 using React + Flux. Along the way, he is learning the beauty and pitfalls of JavaScript, and how to architect a large-scale component library and data analytics framework using React.

Learn more/register: GreenJUG July 9

New Job Posting! Support Center Technician for the City of Greenville

Help Wanted

Support Center Technician
City of Greenville SC is looking for a support center technician to serve as technical support including; email, operating system support, application support and hardware support.

Preview more open positions on the Tech After Five and GSATC jobs board. We encourage you to share it with anyone who may be in the hunt. If you are looking for work, feel free to let us know what you need on our LinkedIn group!

Looking to hire? Post your openings to our job board.

FICO Selects SolidFire’s All-Flash Scale-Out Storage Platform

SolidFireSolidFire, Solid-State Array, announced that FICO, the predictive analytics and decision management software company, selected SolidFire’s all-flash scale-out platform to maximize flexibility, speed deployment and reduce the cost of its FICO® Analytic Cloud, an environment for creating, customizing and deploying powerful, analytics-driven applications and services. SolidFire’s integration with OpenStack and VMware, along with its ability to consolidate multiple workloads and guarantee exact levels of performance and capacity, will enable FICO to guarantee Quality of Service and meet service level agreements for its FICO Analytic Cloud clients.

By using SolidFire’s storage platform, the FICO Analytic Cloud will be able to push the limits of high performance, scalability and platform extensibility, and spur Big Data innovation by giving application developers, business users and FICO partners the ability to process, analyze and act on vast amounts of data. With one-stop access to best-in-class analytics, decision management tools and technology, FICO customers can now leverage the most widely deployed and feature-complete Big Data platform in the cloud.

“Our clients expect the same consistent and reliable performance within the FICO Analytic Cloud as they’ve grown to expect with our on-premise solutions,” said Tony McGivern, CIO of FICO. “This is why we selected SolidFire. The enterprise-grade storage platform helps ensure that we can deliver our state-of-the-art analytics and decision management solutions at scale, with consistent levels of performance across workloads, and integration with both OpenStack and VMWare.”

In addition to comprehensive OpenStack block storage integration, SolidFire is also automated and integrated with VMware’s vCenter, a critical component of FICO’s implementation. SolidFire integrates with VMware’s Storage I/O Control (SIOC) and ESX, to provision, change and guarantee storage performance on-demand without interruption or downtime. SolidFire’s deep support of these platforms allows FICO to offload a broad array of traditional manual operations, optimize infrastructure provisioning and ensure storage efficiency.

“FICO is well-known as an innovator in Big Data and analytics, which presents unique storage challenges for the seamless online delivery of applications and capabilities with only minimal IT support,” said Dave Wright, CEO of SolidFire. “FICO has a demanding set of storage requirements – from multiple workloads with staggering I/O requirements to automation and integration with leading cloud orchestration and virtualization technologies, all of which falls right into SolidFire’s sweet spot.”

via SolidFire

Integral Solutions Group Names Senior Vice President

Integral Solutions GroupIntegral Solutions Group is pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Strayer to the newly created position of Senior Vice President and General Manager. In his new capacity, Strayer will oversee the company’s general management and day-to-day operations.

“Joe has truly worked his way up through the ranks,” said Russ Weber, president of Integral Solutions Group. “He was the company’s first network integrator and knows every facet of our operation.”

Strayer joined the J M Smith Corporation in 1996 when he worked at the QS/1 division as a hardware technician. He was a key player when the corporation formed QS/1 Network Solutions Group. In 2005, the company merged with Integral Technical Services and became what is known today as Integral Solutions Group.

“Joe’s hard work through the years was rewarded in 2009 when he was promoted to vice president,” Weber added. “He has been instrumental in helping grow Integral’s operations beyond networking by spearheading the construction and development of our tier four Data Center.”

Strayer’s promotion was effective March 1, 2015. In the community, he serves on the Facilities Committee at the Chapman Cultural Center and the Technology Subcommittee at Converse College.

via Integral Solutions Group

Greenville Based Proactive Technology Rebrands to Kopis Expands to Charleston

Kopis logoPremier software consulting firm, ProActive Solutions has changed its name to Kopis, which is a name that dates back to the Greek myth of the Gordian Knot. Alexander the Great was able to solve the puzzle of the famed Gordian Knot by slicing it in half with a kopis, which is a heavy knife with a forward-curving blade.

Andrew Kurtz, Chief Executive Officer with Kopis, said that is what the 25-employee firm aims to do – cut through complex problems to create client solutions.

“The best way to solve a complex problem is through simplicity and innovation,” he said. “At Kopis, we help get our clients the solutions they need.”

As part of the branding change, Kopis staff will be moving into a 4,000-square foot space at the NEXT Innovation Center as well as strengthening its presence in the Columbia and Charleston markets, Kurtz said.

“This is not just a name,” Kurtz said. “It’s a stake in the ground.”

John Moore, CEO of the NEXT, which attracts and grows high-impact, knowledge-based companies by developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting entrepreneurs to it , said companies such as Kopis are helping strengthen the Greenville area and all of South Carolina’s custom software market.

“Businesses here don’t have to go to Atlanta and Charlotte to find the best software developers,” Moore said. “Kopis shows what can be done locally can be done best.”

via Kopis